Tag Archives: student loans

Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 4/5

Did you know that about half of students that start college leave before they graduate and of those that go on to graduate, only half end up working in the field he or she graduated in.

However, the average pay of a college graduate, according to the US Census clearly shows that the earnings of workers with college degrees out earn workers without a college education.

Annual median earnings (in 2010 dollars) – Source: US Census

1. high school dropout = $26,313 (based on 4.2 million workers)
2. high school graduate = $37,237 (21 million workers)
3. Bachelor’s degree or more = $67,719 (24.56 million workers)

Now, back to the question I asked in Part 3 about the price of a car, averages wages, cost for a gallon of gas, loaf of bread, and hamburger meat.

The average cost of a car in 1970 was $3,450.  In 2008, it was $27,958—800% increase

The average annual wage in 1970 was $9,400, and in 2008, it was $40,523—431% increase

Note: My first year as a full time public-school teacher in California (1978-79), my annual pay was $11,000. The average starting salary today is $35,760—more than three times what I started with in 1978.  However, the CPI Inflation Calculator says my 1978 starting teacher salary was equal to the buying power of $56,852,66 today. I had no idea my pay was that good back then and I was still making payments on my student loan.

The average cost for a gallon of gasoline in 1970 was 35 cents. In 2008, it was $2.05—586% increase—today the average national price of a gallon of gasoline was $3.63—1,037% increase compared to 1970.

Bread was 25 cents in 1970 and $2.79 in 2008—1,116% increase

A pound of hamburger meat cost 70 cents in 1970 and was $3.99 in 2009—570% increase

The last comparison and the most difficult to find was comparing college costs between the 1970s and today, and I did not find these facts from the traditional media.  I found them from colleges and the government.

What is the media trying to hide and why or is it just poor reporting?

From the University of Texas at Austin, I discovered, “Since 1970 tuition and fees at UT have risen tremendously; for undergraduates, the increase has been around 400 percent. In 1970, tuition was $50 for any in-state student enrolled in any college or school for any number of credit hours. Fees were $54 for anyone enrolled at the University. In the Fall semester of 2002, you won’t get a twelve hour course load for less than $2,300.”

From the Congressional Budget Office, I learned that “in 1970 the average tuition and required fees for full-time undergraduate students was $690. In 1986, the average cost was $2,310.”

Then from College, I discovered,The cost for one year of tuition and fees varies widely among colleges. According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2011–2012 school year was $28,500 at private colleges, $8,244 for state residents at public colleges, and $20,770 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.”

Comparing tuition and fees of public colleges from then to today shows a 1,194% increase since 1970 or a 356% increase since 1986. Private colleges cost much more as you can see but no one has to attend a private college. To keep prices down, a student may spend the first two years at a community college, then transfer in his third year to a four-year state college near his home.

Continued August 18, 2012 in  Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 5 or return to Part 3


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


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Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 1/5

This morning before I started work on the final draft of this series of posts, I saw that the media painted grandparents as victims of evil student debt.

AnnaMaria Andriotis writing for the Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money said, “Tens of thousands of retirees have fallen behind on student loans—and the feds are coming after their Social Security benefits.”

I’m sure that many reading this will disagree with me but in my opinion, if grandpa signed for the loan and the payments come from Social Security, too bad. I do not care what the reason was for the loan. In most of these cases, parents/grandparents cosigned for the student loan of a child or grandchild in college. I have a sister-in-law that co-signed for $60,000 in student loans for her oldest son so he could attend Stanford (he spent some of this borrowed money on a trip to Europe).

If that had been my son, he would have started at a community college for the first two years and then transfered to a state college to earn his BA, and because I am a former US Marine and Vietnam veteran, the tuition would have been zero in California—one of the benefits of putting your life-on-the-line for your country.

If common sense were involved and the grandparent/parent wasn’t sure the child was making smart choices in college, what happened to the word “NO, I won’t sign! Get a job!”?

And then kick them out of the house or cut them off without a dime.

My parents grew up during the Great Depression and when I graduated from high school, I was told, go to college or pay rent, so I made a third choice and joined the US Marines and went straight to Vietnam after boot camp.

Maybe student loans are debt slavery (aren’t all loans a form of debt slavery?), but the grandparents/parents signed away their financial freedom and the law says it was legal.

Dragging grandparents into this debate is another example of the recent media hate binge against college education and student loans. From what I have read and heard and then discovered on my own, this has been mostly one sided—in short, propaganda but for what purpose?

Do not believe what you are reading/hearing from the media and in Blogs.  This issue is complicated and not easy to explain, but there are other numbers that tell a different story.

For example, in 1972, the population of the United States was almost 212 million. Today it is more than 310 million—an increase of 46%.

On August 2, 2012, there were 17.5 million students attending US colleges and Universities (private and public).

However, in 1973, there were 6.8 million students attending college (private and public)—an increase of 257%  since 1973. In addition, in 2009-10, 270,666 of those college students were military veterans attending college on a GI Bill (anyone may join the military and take advantage of whatever GI Bill is available for education).

Continued August 15, 2012 in Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”


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What, Me Worry about Debt! – I’ve got self-esteem protecting me – Part 3/3

What looming disaster has the self-esteem movement created?

Rachel Dwyer of Ohio State University says, “By age 28, those students may be realizing that they overestimated how much money they were going to earn in their jobs. When they took out the loans, they may have thought they would pay off their debts easily, and it is turning out that it is not as easy as they had hoped.”

According to The Smart Student Guide to Financial Aid, these debts range from $10,000 to more than $100,000.  In fact, a total of more than $1.7 trillion in federal education loans have been made since beginning of the loan programs.

Link to the entire program of Your Life, Your Money

In addition, the estimated total private student loans outstanding as of June 30, 2009 were approximately 157.8 billion.  The overall total education loans outstanding, federal and private, was about $763.4 billion in 2009.

When I wrote this post, the Student Loan Debt Clock said that number now stood at more than $900 billion dollars.

If we go back to the beginning of this series of posts, you will recall that many of these young adults also carry credit cards beyond the student loans and undergraduates are carrying record-high credit card balances. Source: Credit

The average (mean) balance grew to $3,173, the highest in the years the study has been conducted. Twenty-one percent of undergraduates had balances of between $3,000 and $7,000, also up from the last study.

In addition, close to one-fifth of seniors carried balances greater than $7,000, while the average college graduate has nearly $20,000 in credit card debt. (Source: Sallie Mae, “How Undergraduate Students Use Credit Cards,” April 2009)

The results of this study has revealed that the movement to boost vanity among our children for the last five decades has created a debt crises that many young adults may struggle for decades to pay off while sacrificing a better lifestyle than their parents may have experienced.

Even more disturbing is a piece by Lori Gottlieb in the Atlantic, How to Land Your Kid in Therapy, which deals with why the obsession with our children’s (self-esteem) happiness may be dooming them with unhappy adulthoods. I will write summary of this long article in another post (Gottlieb’s Atlantic piece ran 12 pages printed).

Return to What, Me Worry about Debt! – Part 2 or return to Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.


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What, Me Worry about Debt – I’ve got self-esteem protecting me – Part 1/3

Another byproduct of the Self-esteem follow Your Dream Parenting Movement that started in the 1960s is what Rachel Dwyer, Ohio State University, writes of in What, me worry? Young adults get self-esteem boost from debt.

Dwyer writes of a study involving 3,079 young adults (for 32 years) who participated in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 – Young Adults sample (NLSY).

The NLSY interviewed the same nationally representative group of Americans every two years, and the survey was conducted by the Ohio State’s Center for Human Resource Research on behalf of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What researchers discovered was that the more credit card and college-loan debt held by young adults aged 18 to 27, the higher their self-esteem and the more they felt like they were in control of their lives.

The effect was strongest among those in the lowest economic class. The survey reveals that many young people do not understand the mess they are getting themselves into until after age 28.

The results from this survey offers more evidence that self-esteem should not have generated an industry to feed its growth.

When I searched YouTube, I discovered more than a thousand videos on “How to Boost Self-esteem”.

On Amazon, there were 158 results and for Google there were 6,310,000 results.  The first Google hit was a five-step plan from the Mayo Clinic.

In fact, since the “average” America parent has been obsessed with the self-esteem of their children since the 1960s, this resulted in the public schools inflating grades contributing to dumbing down the curriculum.

Continued on June 20 in What, Me Worry about Debt! – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

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Posted by on June 19, 2011 in family values, Parenting


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